Authorities are continuing to monitor the new Daisetta sinkhole, which is attached to the 6-acre sinkhole that formed in 2008. The new sinkhole, which was reported to authorities late Sunday night, grew slightly overnight. As of Wednesday, April 5, it is estimated to be around 1-1.5 acres in size.
“We have another 1.5 inches in the ground fractures. The movement is in the area where the building (warehouse) is located. I haven’t gone to the west side of the sinkhole this morning but plan to do that later today,” said Bill Hergemueller, Liberty County fire marshal and head of the Liberty County Office of Emergency Management.
Some of the fractures appear to be trailing east, which is causing some concern, though it is not enough movement to raise an alarm at this time about the safety of FM 770.
Representatives from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality are on the scene and are said to be taking samples of some of the chemicals that are stored on the site. Some empty plastic containers in wire cages are floating in the water after the ledge that supported them collapsed into the sinkhole. Other plastic containers in the same vicinity on the west side of the sinkhole contain 100 percent hydrogen peroxide are in danger of falling into the water next.
On the east side of the sinkhole, there are still five 4,000-gallon plastic storage containers holding what is believed to be sodium silicate hydrate, said Hergemueller. This product is a strong irritant that can cause issues with skin, eyes and mucous membranes. These containers must be moved immediately as they are the most at risk of falling into the newly-formed sinkhole.
Hergemueller said authorities were relieved to learn that no radioactive materials have been located.
“We are just dealing with the chemicals and trying to get them away from the water as they could impact the environment,” he said.
The Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates exploration, production and transportation of oil and natural gas, also has representatives at the site.
Hergemueller said his staff also is in the process of contacting Louisiana State University’s Center for GeoInformatics as the university is said to have installed some GPS monitoring equipment in the area after the original sinkhole. These devices may help provide more information about the new sinkhole.
Editor’s note: I am still working on the article with the geologist who met with authorities yesterday. It was a long meeting and there are a lot of notes to go through. I’ll post the article as soon as the information is compiled.
That it happens to be the location of the p/a Deloach Vacuum commercial salt water (and more) disposal well injection site is of course just a coincidence. The whole surface site should have been designated for remediation long ago. There’s a whole lot more on that old road than sand and clay. Blaming this on old wells drilled in the 20’s (Mecom Oil) is as bogus as carbon poisoning the planet. The path of least resistance.
Well said Jeffery.